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Skidmore College

Well-being is one of the pillars of Skidmore's Strategic Plan, with the goal of continuing to foster a creative and inclusive community.

In alignment with this institutional commitment, Skidmore College administered a Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey in the spring semester of 2019 (Feb. 4, 2019, through March 17, 2019). The survey was developed by the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) whose members are predominantly private, liberal arts colleges.

The HEDS Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey is designed to measure campus support for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and to review issues of discrimination and harassment. The survey is administered to obtain feedback from the entire campus community – students, faculty and staff – with the goal of gaining an improved understanding of:

  • perceptions of Skidmore’s overall climate toward inclusion;
  • perceptions of how Skidmore supports diversity and equity;
  • experiences with disparaging remarks, discrimination, and harassment at Skidmoreposter was from the survey administration in spring of 2019

Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) is an organization of colleges and universities committed to sharing data, knowledge and expertise to advance undergraduate liberal arts education, inclusive excellence and student success.

Visit HEDS

This project is part of a larger commitment to foster a healthy and supportive campus community, as outlined in the College’s current Strategic Plan — to strengthen the inclusiveness, health and well-being of our community. The study results provide Skidmore community members and campus leadership with a better understanding of campus climate, and its findings will help support informed policies and practices related to inclusion and equity, including policies that prevent or respond to discrimination and harassment.

The Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding (CIGU) created a team of campus collaborators. This team met multiple times throughout the administration of the survey to plan and implement communications, marketing and events to encourage survey participation throughout the campus community.  A CIGU working group was formed to analyze the data during the 2019-2020 academic year and developed a presentation to share with the campus community, which was finalized in February 2020. COVID-19 delayed sharing the findings until the 2020-2021 academic year.

  • Marta Brunner, college librarian
  • Kristie Ford, director of CLTL, professor of sociology
  • Saytra Green, assistant director of employment diversity
  • Malchijah Hoskins '22, SGA vice president for inclusion and outreach
  • Iris Mann '22, student member
  • Mariel Martin, associate dean of student affairs
  • Jenni Mueller, director of IGR, associate professor of sociology
  • Joseph Stankovich, director of institutional research
  • Amy Tweedy, institutional effectiveness specialist
  • Joshua Woodfork, vice president for strategic planning and institutional diversity
Role Skidmore Response Rate National Response Rate
Students 50% 19%
Staff 55% 43%
Faculty 74% 43%

HEDS buttionThrough the efforts of campus-wide collaborators, 50% of the Skidmore student population completed the survey. This level of participation is more than double the national average. Student participation rates were significantly higher than previous survey efforts administered to the Skidmore community such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Faculty and staff have historically had strong participation rates for internal surveys. The faculty participated in this survey at even higher rates with almost two-thirds of the faculty responding.

February 2020

  • The Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding (CIGU)
  • Institutional Policy and Planning Committee (IPPC)
  • President’s Cabinet
  • Board of Trustees (abbreviated version)

*COVID-19 delays presentation*

September 2020

  • Student Government Association (SGA) Senate open meeting
  • Faculty

October 2020

  • Staff

March 2021

  • Board of Trustees Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ad hoc committee

October 2021

  • Board of Trustees (full version)
  1. We are a diverse community and in many different aspects.
  2. Within our community, groups have varying perceptions and experiences with the campus environment. 
  3. There is a range in the understanding of and experience with institutional commitment to diversity and equity.
  4. Within our community, members of different groups, especially marginalized ones, are the focus of disparaging remarks.
  5. Members of our community who say they have experienced discrimination or harassment at Skidmore report significantly less satisfaction with campus climate. 
  1. We learned more about the compositional representation of the Skidmore community (demographics).
  2. Findings informed the presidential Racial Justice Initiative.
  3. Reported bias incidents communication increased, and ways to report bias processes were reviewed.
  4. The need to address how bias may impact faculty evaluation processes was confirmed.
    • Academic Affairs conducted an equity audit of our tenure and promotion policies and procedures.
    • Academic Affairs added language about bias to the all-college form for student ratings of teaching.
    • The Center for Leadership, Teaching and Learning (CLTL) held multiple workshops and events on inclusive teaching and classroom climate.
  5. The need to address concerns regarding campus safety’s protocols and process, which was supported by SGA survey data was confirmed. Accordingly, the College engaged with external consultant Margolis Healy: Solutions for Safe Campuses to do a comprehensive assessment.